Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.

Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.

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  • Is it true that I can wear cross trainers in any sport?

    Don't run in cross trainersThe name "Cross trainer" athletic shoes is very deceiving. The term gives the impression that the shoes are suitable for all activity and sports. This is not the case and wearing cross trainers for the wrong exercise can result in injury.

    Athletic and running shoes are all built in ways that provide maximum support and efficiency, or flexibility, depending on the needs of a particular foot type and demands of the sport. A court shoe, whether for tennis, volleyball, or basketball, are structured to account for the starting, stopping, and pivoting. Running shoes are built to account for the natural break in the midfoot and are available in varieties to account for the differences in foot type.

    Cross trainers are suitable for some exercises. They are good to use in the gym for strengthening exercise and weightlifting. You also can use them for aerobics and even the very popular Zumba classes. Consult with your foot doctor in Houston to determine if you are wearing the proper shoes to avoid injuries.

  • How can I prevent sprained ankles when I'm jumping?

    Sprained ankle in Houston ball playersUnfortunately you can't always prevent a sprained ankle, especially when jumping is involved. Some people are more predisposed to ankle sprains because of their mechanics. Those with a high-arched foot naturally tend to shift their weight to the outside, making little force necessary to twist the ankle. Those with flat feet also have instability that can make the ankle twist.

    When someone is jumping, such as coming down from a shot in basketball, people are generally at equal risk of twisting an ankle. Sprained ankles from jumping is usually due to landing at the wrong angle. The unfortunate part is that ankle sprains are cumulative. The ligaments that are injured do not return to full strength, putting you at greater risk for future ankle sprains. In these cases, it is critical to use a superior ankle brace, such as the Gameday made by Ossur.

    Your podiatrist in Houston can evaluate you, provide exercises to strengthen your ankle, and provide you with a solution.

  • If I wear a custom orthotic when run, do I need one in my cycling shoes?

    Cycling orthotics in Houston A custom orthotic is used to balance the feet, which serve as the base of support for the entire body. The orthotic aids in providing stability and efficiency when there is instability in the lower extremity. It is commonly worn in running shoes, as well as all athletic shoes, work shoes, and dress shoes. This provides a consistency of the mechanics and how the foot and ankle functions.

    Many incorrectly view bicycling as a non-weight bearing activity. This perception is because the feet do not touch the ground. Cycling, however, is weight bearing and provides repetitive stress on the foot and ankle. When the cyclist uses clipless pedals continuous pressure is placed on the forefoot. This causes the foot and ankle to work differently from a natural walking gait.

    Orthoses are recommended to be worn in cycling shoes depending on the circumstances. If there is a mechanical instability involving the forefoot or an angular instability of the leg, an orthotic in the cycling shoes would be helpful. Some are comfortable wearing their same orthoses for their running shoes in their cycling shoes. Others, especially elite cyclists and ironman triathletes, have specialized orthotics designed specifically for their cycling shoes. Visit your foot doctor in Houston to see what is the right choice for you.

  • How can turf toe be treated?

    taping for turf toeThere is both conservative and surgical treatment for turf toe. Conservative treatment for turf toe can start with splinting or taping the great toe to limit motion and reduce jamming and pain. Another way to achieve this is with a thin, carbon-steel insole that is placed into shoes. While this limits motion around the joint, it does not limit activity. It also can be used in conjunction with a custom orthotic to control the overall lower extremity mechanics while supporting the painful joint.

    If conservative measures fail, then surgery would be an option for this joint. The most straightforward way to address this arthritic, painful great toe joint is a procedure known as a cheilectomy. This procedure is one to "clean up" the joint by removing the bone spurs around the joint and remodel it to help restore the motion. In more severe situations, the metatarsal bone needs to be surgically fractured to decompress the joint.

    Do not assume that you need surgery, visit your podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX to see what is the best treatment option for you.

  • What is turf toe?

    Turf toe effects Houston athletesTurf toe is a sprain of the great toe joint, occurring when the joint over-extends. It is a common football injury with a high prevalence on artificial turf, thus providing the name of the condition. It is not exclusive to football, however.

    Turf toe can occur anytime the joint is already extended. A force pushing you backwards will jolt the joint into suddenly hyperextending. Over time this one-time injury can cause breakdown of the joint. The motion in this joint will become limited and painful. A spur, known as a dorsal bunion, often forms on the top of the metatarsal bone. This becomes arthritis, further restricts the joint and causes additional pain

    Turf toe is progressive and gets worse with time and continued activity. The sooner it is treatment, the faster it will improve and have the pain controlled. If you are concerned that you have turf toe, or any other foot injury from sports, visit your Houston podiatrist for immediate treatment.